CHRC Endorses Religious Child Abuse

The Canadian Human Rights Commission, Complicit with Political Islam

2019-04-22 2019-04-23: Small correction

Ce blogue est aussi disponible en version française : La CCDP endosse la maltraitance religieuse des fillettes

The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) has chosen the image below to present its 2018 Annual Report to Parliament. This image is revolting on several levels.

Image used by the CHRC Image used by the CHRC to illustrate its slogan “Speak Out.”

By choosing this image to illustrate the theme of human rights, the CHRC shows a degree of negligence which is inexcusable. The image sends a message which is completely incompatible with human rights, for several reasons:

  • First of all, it is common knowledge that the veil is a banner of political Islam and that promoting the wearing of the veil anywhere and everywhere constitutes one of the most important strategies of that far-right movement to impose its obscurantist ideology. The veil is a tool for segregation. Its purpose is to isolate women from men, to isolate Muslim women from non-Muslims and, most of all, to promote an image of Muslim women as monolithically very pious, even fundamentalist, in order to render invisible those Muslims who practice a more open and less strict variant of Islam.
  • The person wearing a hijab in the photo is a very young girl. Forcing a young child to wear the veil for any extended period of time—weeks, months or years—harmfully isolates the child and constitutes a form of child abuse which should be illegal. The consequences of wearing the veil are very serious for a young girl. There may be negative physical effects (such as Vitamin D deficiency or an impediment to the child’s normal physical activity), but the most grievous consequences are psychological and social. When the person wearing the veil is a child, the social segregation is much more serious, depriving the young girl of a normal childhood and erecting a barrier between her and other children.
  • No child can consent freely to such attire. When the wearer is an adult, such a choice is unfortunate, but if her choice is freely made then it must be respected—provided, of course that she does not wear the veil while working as an employee of the State as a teacher in a public school. However the situation is completely different for a child: it is utterly unacceptable to impose such attire on a child who is too young to understand the implications of such a religious symbol. The child thus becomes a victim of abuse by those who force her to wear it.
  • The above photo was apparently taken during a demonstration (October 2018), in the streets of Montreal, against Quebec Draft Bill 21. That demonstration was anti-secular and included a strong participation by Islamists.

The CHRC is an agency of federal parliament whose mission is to monitor and protect human rights. And yet, it has endorsed a retrograde symbol of political Islam and at the same time endorsed child abuse of young girls in fundamentalist Muslim families. Their choice of photo is entirely unacceptable. I agree completely with Djemila Benhabib who recently made the following declaration on social media:

Shame on the Canadian Human Rights Commission @CdnHumanRights which illustrates its 2018 Report with the photo of a small girl wearing a veil, with her fist raised. This is terribly shocking and repugnant. You thus legitimize the exploitation of children by political Islam. This scenario is even more scandalous given that the photo was taken at an anti-CAQ, anti-secular demonstration in the streets of Montreal organized by Islamists among others.


Next blog: Children’s Rights Before Teachers’

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